Let’s End The ‘Rough Sex' Defence

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So far 59 UK women have been killed by men who claimed they ‘consented’ to violent sex. Sign our petition and join Grazia's campaign to ban the ‘sex game gone wrong’ defence, and stop men literally getting away with murder. 

By now, you’ll likely know the name Grace Millane. The British backpacker was strangled to death by a 27-year-old man. He was convicted of her murder after trying and failing to persuade a jury in his native New Zealand that her death was a result of a sex game gone wrong. He did not call emergency services, took photos of her body and went on another date before burying her in a suitcase in a shallow grave. 

The case has made headlines worldwide, with Grace’s family and friends not only enduring unspeakable loss, but having to witness claims about her sexual and private life being made public – claims which she was unable to challenge. 

But horrifyingly, the ‘rough sex’ defence  – or so-called ’50 Shades Defence’ - attempted by Grace’s killer is becoming increasingly common in courts. 59 UK women have been killed and many more injured in what is claimed to be 'consensual' violent sex, according to campaign group We Can’t Consent To This. In the last five years, the defence was successful in nearly half of the killings that went to trial.

That’s why Grazia, alongside We Can’t Consent To This and Harriet Harman MP, is campaigning to end the ‘rough sex’ defence - and is asking for your support in backing our petition to make this a reality.

This petition calls on the next government to bring back the Domestic Abuse bill and back additional clauses by MPs Harriet Harman and Mark Garnier, to end these defences once and for all.

To help make a change, please also write to your representatives today, asking them to help bring back the bill and back the additional clauses. We Can’t Consent To This have set up an easy-to-use draft, here: wecantconsenttothis.uk/actnow